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Assange not running in new Australian election

Senatorial escape route scuttled by eligibility requirements

Julian Assange, photo by Espen Moe

Julian Assange will not, as previously indicated, run for Australia Senate again.

The part-time Ecuadorian ran as a candidate for The Wikileaks Party at Australia's general election last year, hoping to win a Senate seat in the State of Victoria. Doing so probably would not have allowed him safe passage from Ecuador’s London embassy, but might have given him some new legal arguments to pursue.

A second candidacy was raised as a possibility after the Senate election was botched in the State of Western Australia. Last November, the Wikileaks Party announced it would once again seek to install Assange as its main candidate for any re-run election.

Subsequent decisions mean that election has been ordered for April 5th, when Western Australia will return to the polls to elect six Senators.

But Assange is not on the ballot paper because, says Wikileaks Party's campaign manager Gerry Georgatos, Australia's Electoral Commission deemed he is ineligible to run.

Australian citizens are eligible to run as candidate if they are over 18 years of age and are “either enrolled or eligible to be enrolled on the Commonwealth electoral roll.” Would-be candidates must also satisfy the provisions of Section 44 of Australia's Constitution , that rules out criminals, bankrupts, those accused of treason, foreign citizens and those who work for or profit from Commonwealth enterprises.

Tempting as it is to imagine Assange has become an Ecuadorian citizen or been charged with treason, a stuff-up looks the likely reason for the the leaker-in-chief's failure to appear on the ballot paper.

"He may not have enrolled in Western Australia on time," Georgatos told The Reg. Once Assange's candidature was untenable, WikiLeaks party's 2600-strong membership elected two new candidates: TV producer Tibor Meszaros and journalist Lucy Nicol.

Georgatos but is not optimistic about their prospects, fearing the taint of what he said were incorrect reports of the party's intention to direct preferences to right-wing parties at Australia's September 2013 election. ®

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